How to Look Confident

confident dogDo you look confident? If I spotted you are a social gathering, what would your body language say – “Go away, I don’t want to be here” or “Come and meet me”? I’ve read different statistics, but its fair to say over 70% of our communication is transmitted by our body language.

So how do you change your outer appearance, even if your self talk is still struggling to get over negative thoughts. Here are a few tips to practice:-

Start off with your feet at least 12 inches apart and have your weight even distributed between both feet. Also have your soles of your feet evenly planted on the ground – think of the ball of your foot, the heel and a point just below the little toe as a tripod, supporting the rest of your body.

Don’t lock your knees!

Be aware of your girdle! The pelvis (or pelvic girdle) connects your hips to your spine. It supports the weight of the body from the spine. It also protects and supports the lower organs, including the urinary bladder, the reproductive organs, and the developing fetus in a pregnant woman. The problem is, supporting all this weight, we can let our body to sink into the pelvis.

Mentally and physically lift you upper body out of your pelvis. This is easier to do than it sounds. Lift yourself vertically, rather than arching your back and leaning backwards. Imagine yourself “lengthening your spine”, rather than letting it crush up as we let it sink into our normal posture.

In the past I have had lessons from an Alexander Technique teacher, and this is worth reading about as they take posture and “use of the body” to a totally different level. One technique I still remind myself to use, both standing and walking, is to think of a piece of string, attached to the top of your head gently pulling upwards.

Lifting your body out of your pelvis, there is a tendency to lift your shoulders high. Let them drop and relax. When I do relaxation sessions, most people identify the shoulders and neck as where they feel/store most tension. Unfortunately the traditional correction to poor posture is “up straight, shoulders back”.

Let your shoulders widen, rather than pull back. Again, don’t try to force a posture but try mentally giving your body directions.

I have touched on breathing before and will return to it again. The final point I want to make in this post is to practice smiling with your eyes. You cannot do this if you are full of dread or anxiety. Bring an inner smile with you, give yourself some positive messages – “relax and smile”, “calm and smile”, “wonderful people make me smile”.

If you are smiling inwardly, you will start smiling with your eyes when you look at people. And looking at people, rather than the floor or your drink, or whatever is in your hands, is part of the process. Mentally think, “there are interesting people here I want to get to know” – focus on others, be interested in them rather than how you are feeling. If you look approachable, who knows…
photo by newandrew on Flickr

Bill Vroom March 15, 2008 at 5:43 pm

You’re absolutely right on about the Alexander Technique. They have a great site at

NJ WebGuy March 15, 2008 at 9:06 pm

These are good tips, I never thought of the body collapsing into the pelvis.

Robert | reason4smile March 16, 2008 at 2:32 am

Practice smiling with your eyes =) First time I heard it… thanks for the idea…
Smiling inwardly is indeed important!


Robert | reason4smile’s last blog post..First meme, first award, first review

Craig Harper - Motivational Speaker March 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Hey David.

Great Advice!

Along with your body language it’s also important to be genuinely interested in what the other person is saying.

Self-centred people are terrible communicators because they always steer the conversation back to themselves and they rarely acknowledge, validate or actually consider the other person’s feelings or perspective.

If you’re not interested in the other person’s perspective, you’re not part of a conversation, you’re delivering a monologue.

Great body language and great communication are clearly the keys to appearing confident.

Great Post!

Craig Harper – Motivational Speaker’s last blog post..The Fifty Success Habits

Maria - Never the Same River Twice March 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm

“Don’t slouch!” I can still hear my mom telling me that. But it’s true. Standing straight gives you a much more attractive and confident-looking bearing.

Maria – Never the Same River Twice’s last blog post..Weekend SmallChange: Do Something a Little Scary

Home Office Organization - Sherri March 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

I love that you said smile with your eyes. I’m very aware of other people’s body language, and always have been for some unknown reason. Maybe I just like to watch people.

Anyway, I can look at someone smiling and tell if it’s genuine or if they’re faking just by looking at their eyes. It’s clear as day in person and in photos. If you don’t smile with your eyes, it doesn’t really matter what your mouth is doing. You can smile with your eyes even if your mouth is neutral.

Eyes truly are the windows to the soul.


Home Office Organization – Sherri’s last blog post..Update: After 11 Days of Backlink Building

David March 17, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Thanks everyone for your positive comments – the hard part is getting into the habit of changing how we present ourselves!
Craig – I only skated over being interested at the end, whereas I agree with you that genuine interest is essential for real communication to take place.

Ellie Walsh - Living the Law of Attraction March 18, 2008 at 4:20 am

Ahhh – that inner smile — if you can get that smile going it radiates from your eyes and from your whole being….

You can not be filled with fear, anxiety, anger if you have that smile going!! 😀

Ellie Walsh – Living the Law of Attraction’s last blog post..Enter to Win an AttitudeZapz!

Posture Exercises March 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm

You’re absolutely right that a good posture can make you feel and appear more confident. I like the eyes comment.

new zealand tourism March 21, 2008 at 12:35 pm

This is some great advice! I try to use some of these same techniques whenever I have job interviews.

Valencia April 10, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Body language is very important! It’s good to know how to ‘Fake it till you make it’ in the meantime! Years ago I frequently felt awkward when entering a reception room full of people and then I finally became aware that my anxiety was directly related to the negative self talk in my head. Once this realization occurred, I gradually was able to learn how to ’empty’ my head of these comments by actively being aware of them or consciously focusing on the other people in the room instead of myself. After working further on my self-esteem and belief system, I have come to be able to walk into receptions comfortably and I consciously use positive self-talk if necessary.

Valencia’s last blog post..Quantum Physics and the Observer Effect – HEY, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?

David Rogers April 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Thanks Valencia for sharing this experience. Self talk is so important.

David Rogers’s last blog post..Dealing with Bullying Behavior

Lasik July 13, 2008 at 9:27 pm

This is great advise, I am the one the pulls my shoulders back and looks stiff in a crowd. When I get home my shoulders actually hurt ! I have read over this post 2 times and plan on reading it before my next social out-ting !

Jason Allen

george April 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

exellent tips

Iby July 2, 2009 at 9:05 pm

This sounds like the advice given in Dale Carnegie’s book, How to win Friends and influence People… @ craig. great advice…

SenseiMattKlein August 1, 2010 at 11:49 am

Your advice about “lengthening the spine” is spot on. Discovered yoga about a year ago, and it does wonders for posture and breathing. The deep breathing really helps you to relax, and the core exercises make for a more confident posture.

popy October 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm

ya! I agree with this smiling eyes ,because its interesting to see a person with smiling eyes.Itz also too tough to be.I took a lot of time to get this .Our eyes reveals everything within our heart. Everyone around me says that i am looking so confident now a days , normally iam a confident person but it took a lot of time to get a body language like that.Everyday i used to self evaluate myself and find answer for my negative traits and remove it .Now i am very relax at every situation and can think properly .So first know abt yourself and get rid of your negative traits by positive ones.ya !itz too tough,but in PRACTICE itz POSSIBLE. ALL THE BEST.

Aleisha October 28, 2010 at 5:07 am

Good tips. I like the one about sitting up straighter.

Ramesh November 12, 2010 at 7:02 pm

ya, its to say walk tall, talk tall and think tall. Smile in the eye is genuine communication and the reflection of heart. Great stuff, Thanks

Rhys May 11, 2011 at 6:42 pm

i smile with my eyes and stand up tall and still find myself backing down at occasions, anything else you could say ?

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